How to Pray - Powerful Prayer for Family

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How to Pray - Powerful Prayer for Family

Prayer for family can transform into powerful prayer with more meaning and depth with 3 simple approaches...

Tags: how to pray, prayer request, family, scripture, selfish, pray with others, prayer for family


We live so close to our family members, and we live so much of our lives with our families, we often find ourselves praying for them.

Before we begin, I want to state that it is true that there is no ”right” way to pray for your family. In fact, if you are mentioning them in prayer at all, it is honoring to them and God is pleased.

That being said, there are some guidelines that, when followed, may bring those prayers to a new level… resulting in much deeper, meaningful discussion between you and God about your loved ones - much more powerful prayer for family.

Use Scripture in Your Prayers

The FIRST top way to pray for family is to use scripture in your prayers. Whatever the issue is, there is scripture that speaks to that issue. For example, if your loved one is struggling with an addiction, you can find a piece of scripture that encourages us in times of temptation. For example, in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:13), scripture says - ”No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind; and God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

In speaking this verse in your prayer, you will “remind” God of what He promises in scripture as proof that He will deliver your family member from that temptation. Of course, we don’t really “remind” God of anything… but the practice helps remind us of God’s promises and the opportunity to see His faithfulness in delivering the promises of His Word.

Avoid Being Selfish

The SECOND main principle can be very difficult to implement! It is very easy for us to pray for family members (and people, in general) to act in ways and do things that support what we actually want for us! ”Lord, please help my wife understand that we just don’t have the money for new furniture right now” or…“God, please help my daughter to score the most soccer goals on her team today…”

While these can be noble requests and certainly have their own merits, they have an element of what WE want to happen more than what is best for our family members. So how can we easily parse out the difference?

The key to focusing your attention on what may be more appropriate prayer is this… Ask yourself if you are praying to further spiritual growth. Specifically, you will want to ask God to reveal to you how this issue advances your family member’s spiritual growth. In addition, we may need to ask God to reveal to us what He wants us to see about our own spiritual growth!

For perspective, our prayer above for the furniture might turn into the following: “Lord, thank you for providing my wife to think about the comforts of our home. While I do not want to spend our money on furniture right now, help me understand how this purchase might serve You. Perhaps not having this furniture is a barrier to sharing our home right now. In addition, please reveal to me any selfishness in my heart about this purchase, and any opportunities to serve with it. Am I actually resistant because I'd rather spend our money on a new TV or am I unwilling to cut back in my own spending to sacrifice for her. Help me understand the blessings you have in store for us should we buy this furniture.”

Our prayer for our daughter may become this instead: “God, thank you for the athletic skill you have given my daughter. She amazes me with all she is capable of with the gifts you have given her. However, I know that she was ultimately made by You to glorify Your Name. If it is Your will, I pray that you help her succeed mightily on the soccer field today by scoring goals. Ultimately, however, I pray that on this stage, she finds ways to glorify Your name, whether by her athletic accomplishments or her attitude on the field.”

Pray Out-Loud, With Your Family Member

A THIRD way to maximize your prayers for family is to pray WITH your family member! Admittedly, this is not the typical way we pray. Also, prayers for intercession are generally between God and us. More typically, we tell our family members we will pray for them or we are praying for them to encourage them in their struggles, our exact dialogue with God about them remains private.

That being said, imagine if your loved one could actually hear you implore God for their relief, or their wishes to come true, or their struggles to be over… if they could hear how deep your own emotion is on their behalf!

Again, it is not always the right approach for family members to hear the words you are praying about them. However, there may be opportunities to more deeply move or encourage your family member in their time of need when they can audibly hear the depth of your own investment in their success or relief.

Please share your own powerful ways to pray for family in deep and meaningful ways below in the comments section!

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